The SOC Laurie Campbell nature photography exhibition and snow!

Managed to get out to Aberlady to the SOC Waterston House to see the new Laurie Campbell nature photography exhibition – find out more as with all of Laurie’s work it was fantastic! The crowd was very small, by the time it was closing only 1 other person was there, however we didn’t get there until quite late due to work and slow going on the roads due to snow.

With the snow I thought there’d be a lot more birds in the garden, especially as I was outside filling the feeders at about midnight so I knew they’d be full for the morning, hardly anything’s been touched, here’s my list so far, hopefully update later in the day:

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Black-headed Gull x 2 – fly overs
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Bullfinch x 3
  5. Carrion crow x 1 – fly over
  6. Coal Tit x 2
  7. Dunnock x 3
  8. Greenfinch x 1
  9. House Sparrow x 9
  10. Robin x 1
  11. Woodpigeon x 3

Chris Packham and Winterwatch Madness, my garden bird list.

Just watching BBC’s Winterwatch on the iplayer – I don’t have a TV licence so can’t watch it live – I had started noticing that Chris Packham has been adding Madness song titles, but I don’t know enough of their songs so I probably missed a few.  My garden’s been slightly quieter today, but I hope to get a bit more bird watching in later during a lunch break.  I did get lucky and spot 2 bullfinches out of the window whilst watching winterwatch:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. House Sparrows x 5 – added 12.47
  6. Woodpigeon x 3 – updated 12.47

BBC’s Winterwatch great footage of Long-tailed Tits, Garden bird list.

The snow is still lying on the ground but there seems to be very few birds around in my garden.  I’ve just been watching BBC’s Winterwatch episode 2; if you’re a fan of Long-tailed Tits there’s a great piece about 9 or 10 minutes in: BBC iplayer Winterwatch I’ve only seen them roosting once before, but not nestling down, just a pure accident.  Here’s my garden bird list so far, hope to update later in the day.

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Black-headed x 2, One of them didn’t have a tail, it seemed to be doing very well though!
  3. Blue Tit x 3
  4. Bullfinch x 3  – updated 11.13
  5. Carrion crow x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Herring Gull x 1
  8. House Sparrows x 5 – updated 11.13
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

Out for a gentle stroll to the park.

As many regular viewers of the site would know I’ve had 3 torn ankle tendons in the past 4 years and major screw ups from the NHS causing long lasting pain but I was a landscape photographer (can’t currently work at that) and really NEED to walk!  It’s my hobby, my job, my passion!  So when I feel I can do some I get out for gentle strolls with a walking stick, whilst at Saint Margaret’s Park I saw my first Pied Wagtail for the year, plus a few other birds:

  1. Carrion Crow x 5
  2. Pied Wagtail
  3. Woodpigeon x 2

Sparrowhawk in the garden a new bird for the year list.

Another new bird for the year list, a Sparrowhawk almost hit me in the face, okay it was about 60 centimetres away, but for something moving at such speed it seemed very close.

How I got to the point of having a sparrowhawk 2 feet away from me; there were few birds in the garden, just 1 blackbird so I thought better take the dog out and check if there’s a cat lurking in the back undergrowth as there often is.  The dog went crazy sniffing the ground and it was obvious to him that a cat had just been there, but I didn’t see it, about half a minute passed and the tinkle of the cat’s bell over a neighbours fence gave it away (good on the owner for putting a bell on it) and the dog went into a quick barking fit, then all fell very silent, still no birds and the cat was away.  I bent over to pick-up some litter that had blown into the garden and as I stood up there in my face was a sparrowhawk coming straight at me, it changed just before collision.  Well what seemed like a collision point to me, to it I’m sure it felt it had hours to divert it’s course.

This is only the second time I’ve seen a sparrowhawk in the garden, first for this year, last time it was hunting and not in a way I’d seen sparrowhawks hunt before it was actually going to ground then entering the dogwood shrub that is next to one of the feeders and flushing birds out that way, instead of circling the shrub or hedge and getting the birds to fly out.  I was surprised at how well it went into the hedge, I got some video footage but it was on a small digital camera and rather rubbish as due to my cerebral palsy I shake so much.  The other thing I noticed that day was how different the small birds alarm call was to when they see a cat, they obviously have a different call for sparrowhawk than they do cat predators.

Here’s a list of the 9 different species I’ve seen today, the Magpies are back in decent numbers, not as many as on Christmas day but they’re being just as noisy:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 (male)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Herring Gull x 1 (flying over)
  8. Magpie x 11
  9. Sparrowhawk x 1

12 different species of birds in my garden today, plus a photo of a Coal Tit.

I was hoping to get out and see the waxwings that were near Murrayfield today, however due to the tyre blowout on Christmas Eve and not been able to get it repaired during the last week over Christmas/New Years as everything is closed, my wife can’t drive me anywhere (I can’t drive at the moment due to my ankle tendons popping out when I press the accelerator) so once again my what birds I’ve seen today comes from the garden, I’ve added a photo of a coal tit I shot a while back, hope you like it. This maybe the longest list of species for one record so far:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 (female)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 3
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Greenfinch x 5
  9. Herring Gull x 1
  10. House Sparrow x 3
  11. Magpie x 4
  12. Woodpigeon x 4

The photo of the coal tit on a bird seed feeder:

Coal tit

Coal tit on Garden bird feeder.

Seed and feeder supplied by the RSPB.

Happy New Year! Birds enjoying the sunny weather.

Happy new year everyone, hope you had a great night last night, it’s wonderfully and sunny in Edinburgh today and the birds are busy on the feeders:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 1
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 4
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Greenfinch x 4
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

I know I’ve already added an update today, but just went outside and noticed that the magpies are back making a lot of noise and as I watched them a flock of 50+ waxwings settled on the tree in the neighbours garden, rose once, settled again then flew off.

  1. Magpies x 12
  2. Waxwings x 50+

From the Lothians birders news on yahoo groups there’s been a sighting of 200+ at the Ice Rink, Murrayfield between the two bridges on Water of Leith.

Sadly the website was lost and this is the first record I’ve been able to find internet archives.

Merry Christmas, had a bumper morning for birds at my place!

Merrry Christmas everyone! I hope you all get to see a few more birds than just turkey today!  I think this is actually the most viewed for me in my WBIST counts so far, especially with the 23 magpies, although only 7 of them were in my garden the trees around my house were alive with their cackles, so great to see on Christmas, here’s today’s list:

  • Blackbird x 5
  • Black-headed gull x 1 – Fly over.
  • Bullfinch x 1 – Female
  • Chaffinch x 2
  • Coal Tit x 1
  • Dunnock x 1
  • Greenfinch x 3
  • House Sparrow x 7
  • Magpie x 23
  • Woodpigeon x 1

46 Birds in total, very nice for a suburban area!